New PFAS Bill Introduced in Ohio Legislature

Late last week, two freshman legislators Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) and Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) introduced House Bill 497. The bill would require Ohio to set its own drinking water standard for per and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals — more commonly known as PFAS.

This group of chemicals has been manufactured since the 1940s for use in a variety of industries around the globe and in a wide range of products — from firefighting foam to stain-resistant carpets. PFAS are ubiquitous in the environment, and there is much debate and disputed science surrounding the potential effects of these chemicals.

Recently, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Health to implement an action plan for the testing of more than 1,500 public water supplies. Instead of creating an Ohio standard, the state has shown deference to U.S. EPA in setting a national maximum containment level for PFAS. The OMA has been heavily engaged in this issue. Members interested in learning more should contact Rob Brundrett. 2/13/2020